Maven is a Yiddish word that means connoisseur; in other words, a person who can discern quality. A food maven could therefore also be called a gourmet, but we won't be using that word here. I jokingly refer to the word "gourmet" as the "g" word. I don't like to use it because it has become so overused and abused. After all, nowadays, even convenience stores call themselves "gourmet groceries." Gourmet has also come to mean fancy food, and although you may well find some fancy recipes here, or a review of a fancy restaurant, or an item on an expensive wine, or a reference to an esoteric food product, for the most part this is a place to find down-to-earth advice on everyday cooking, eating, food shopping, cooking equipment, and nice things to put on your table. I'm a real food know-it-all.
The New York Times Magazine called Arthur Schwartz “a walking Google of food and restaurant knowledge.” As the restaurant critic and executive food editor of the New York Daily News , which he was for 18 years, he was called The Schwartz Who Ate New York . Nowadays, he is best known as The Food Maven , the name of this web site. Whatever the sobriquet, he is acknowledged as one of the country's foremost experts on food, cooking, culinary history, restaurants, and restaurant history.
View The Maven's Diary